November 10th: Once again I apologize for the layout of the pictures within the blog. I am doing this rather late in the evening and do not have time for getting things perfect at this time. It has been a long and very full trip with little time to perfect this new idea of blogging.
Sunny Saturday -
We had a great day on the taiga (look it up:-)). This is arctic ecosystem which is one step before tundra, as it still has trees though they are quite stunted. the Tundra has no trees on it. The sun was coming up as we drove away from the launch area, and the sky was clearing of a thin layer of clouds.
We get to the launch area about 0730 and sunrise is about 0745. This, of course, means that we are up about 0515 in order to organize gear that has been returning to room temperature overnight, check batteries, put in fresh memory cards, etc. Then breakfast is at 0600 and we then dress for the day and are ready to go by 0645 for pick up. Dressing for me involves three layers of long johns, with army wool pants over that, and finally wind/rain pants over it all. on top of I wear a silk undershirt, a turtleneck long sleeved, a light wool sweater, a wool shirt, a wind blocking vest, an Irish wool sweater, and finally a large down parka. on my head is a polartec/wind hat, and sometimes a wool cap on top of that.
The feet have two pairs of heavy wool socks with a liner sock, and at night toe warmers. The boots are arctic wear from army surplus. Then on the hands are two pairs of gloves with hand warmer between the layers. I feel like the Michelin Man.
We had some good light on the bears on a clear sunny day. Two of the highlights were sparring males, and willow ptarmigan. Last time I was here we only saw the ptarmigan in shaded area and had to shoot them through the front window of the buggy which is tinted,
and not really clean. The bears were either walking about or resting in the snow. The wind was probably blowing about 15 mph. It was a far better day than the first day. We topped off the day with a sunset shoot from the buggies. We pulled off the track a bit so the other buggies could get back to the launch area. It was a great way to finish off the day.
Tonight we dined at the Seaport Restaurant. We wanted to get out for the Northern Lights and that was the place that could seat us the earliest. The food was OK, and I was not interested in anything special as I am into the first day of a cold. I opted to not go
photographing the No. Lights and went to bed at a reasonable time in order to get a good night's sleep. The group that went out did not go far but got some nice pictures with the large trail marker, "Inukshuk", in the foreground with lit up by the lights from the school behind them.